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A popular graffito of the 1970s was the legend “Dick Nixon Before He Dicks You,” reflecting the hostility of the youth culture to that U.S. president.
Graffiti is often seen as having become intertwined with hip hop culture and the myriad of international styles derived from New York City Subway graffiti. However, there are many other instances of notable graffiti this century.
Graffiti has long appeared on railroad boxcars and subways. The one with the longest history, dating back to the 1920s and continuing into the present day, is Texino. During World War II and for decades after, the phrase “Kilroy was here” with accompanying illustration was widespread throughout the world, due to its use by American troops and its filtering into American popular culture. Shortly after the death of Charlie Parker (nicknamed “Yardbird” or “Bird”), graffiti began appearing around New York with the words “Bird Lives”.
The student protests and general strike of May 1968 saw Paris bedecked in revolutionary, anarchist, and situationist slogans such as L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire (“Boredom is counterrevolutionary”) expressed in painted graffiti, poster art, and stencil art. In the U.S. at the time other political phrases (such as “Free Huey” about Black Panther Huey Newton) became briefly popular as graffiti in limited areas, only to be forgotten.
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